We lack courage because if we happen sometimes to be brave as individuals we know that we will for sure be undercut by committees (by managers).
Once this has happened, once some individual has done the right thing (what would strike any individual as the right thing – maybe just a normal routine right thing – like telling the truth) only to be deserted, persecuted, harassed, interrogated, left hung-out-to-dry by a faceless, un-responsible, safety-first, avoid-costs-at-all-cost, dodge-risks-at-any-risk, short-termist committee/ bunch of managers (and put through some kind of prolonged time-, emotion- and money-draining procedural torture) … then it is a strong (um…) deterrent against doing the right thing.
Which makes a perfect, and perfectly understandable, excuse to be cowardly thenceforth.
Which is presumably why we lack courage.
–Bruce Charlton, 12 October, 2010